A collaborative project between pharmacy academics at Aston University and innovative Canadian vaccine company Variation Biotechnology Inc has won the award for ‘Collaboration in Formulation’ at the 2011 Formulation Awards, organised by Intelligent Formulation.
The award, which is sponsored by the University of Birmingham, was presented during a day-long formulation event at the British Science Festival in Bradford last week. The award set out to recognise ‘projects demonstrating successful collaborations, partnerships or open innovation in the area of formulation’.
The judges were impressed by the project, a four-year Co-operative Award in Science and Engineering, which aims to develop broadly reactive and needle-free delivery of vaccines for human healthcare improvements.
Needle-free vaccines are more cost effective, avoid needle stick injuries and large-scale disposal of biohazardous needles, and avoid the need for trained personnel. A vaccine that can induce a broader degree of protection than current vaccine technologies is essential to protect against infections such HIV and HCV, and could lead to an influenza vaccine that confers multi-season protection.
VBI will design a synthetic vaccines against a range of diseases such as influenza with the aim of developing a vaccine that protects against current and future strains of influenza. Aston will investigate the formulation and application of drug delivery systems to enhance the potency of this vaccine, and provide a needle-free means of vaccination, making such vaccines particularly well-suited for distribution throughout the developing world.
Professor Yvonne Perrie, Head of Pharmacy at Aston and lead academic on this project said, ‘The support from BBSRC and Variation Biotechnologies is providing us an excellent opportunity to apply our expertise to new collaborative research that can be rapidly translated into the Healthcare setting. It is great to see our team being recognised through this award’.